127 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2003
When Tron came out in 1982, it was intended to be a visually stunning parable against the powers of computers and technology. More than twenty years later, the movie plays more like a nostalgic ode to the early 1980s, than a simple good vs. evil morality tale. Tron evokes the heady days when video games like Pac Man, Defender and Centipede ruled the arcades and when everyone owned a Commodore 64 or an Atari 2600 -- the eight track of personal computing.
Writer/director Steven Lisberger creates a flashy, neon-drenched world, a cybernetic version of Social Darwinism where lowly computer programs must participate in gladiatorial battles against the Master Control's ruthless minions. Even though the computer effects look primitive now, back then they were considered ahead of their time. Fortunately, Lisberger has not remastered the special effects with contemporary computer graphics (take note George Lucas). There is a certain clunky charm to the effects that makes Tron all that more endearing to its fans.
Tron is one of those rare examples where style over substance works. The computer world that Lisberger and his team worked so hard to create is rich in detail. It also plays on our romantic notions of what really goes on inside our computers -- not a collection of microchips and circuit boards but a vast world where programs fight each other for survival. It's no wonder that visionary science fiction writer, William Gibson once commented in an interview that the cyberworld in Tron is how he envisioned the cyberspace in his novels.
The audio commentary with director Steven Lisberger, producers Donald Kushner and Harrison Ellenshaw, and special effects wizard, Richard Taylor. There is a relaxed feel to the track as these guys reminisce about working on the movie. The commentary does tend to lean more towards the technical aspects of making the movie as opposed to anecdotal content but the documentary on disc two covers this aspect in more detail.
Disc two features a wealth of supplemental material that was mostly carried over from a special edition laserdisc set that Disney released many years ago. The DVD reorganizes all of these extras into several easily navigable sections.
The best extra on the second disc is a comprehensive 90-minute documentary entitled, "The Making of Tron." Every aspect of the movie, from its humble origins to the struggles of getting it made are covered with brand new interviews with Lisberger and his crew and Jeff Bridges and the cast (minus David Warner). Everyone speaks fondly of his or her experiences working on Tron. This retrospective look at the movie 20 years later is a real treat for the fans and is the crowning touch on this excellent set.
147 of 160 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2005
I've read so many reviews TRASHING the special effects of Tron and its plot. First of all, it's easy with our modern ILM and digital masterpieces like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, Jurassic Park, etc. to criticize a movie made in 1982 but the bottom line is that the effects, for its time, were amazing!! I remember as a kid watching this movie with my mouth hanging open. I watched it, as a matter of fact, this week, on DVD and it still impresses me.
The key to being thoughtful and critical of movies is to be able to watch them in the context of their time. I could easily watch Star Trek episodes and say, "ha!! Look at that! Since our FX are so much better now days, that series isn't even relevent!!" That's, in a nutshell, what I read one reviewer saying, that the FX of Tron are corney by modern standards to it's irrelevent. Not at all.....
I think the plot, and keep in mind this IS a Disney movie, though simple, is a good one. It deals with a big brother government that wants to make everyone think the same, live under one rule, if you're not with us you're against us, etc. kind of government. To be in good standing with the Master Control, one must not believe in the "users," or, to the computer programs, 'God.' So, atheism is the key to getting good training, promotion and success. Those who oppose the MCP are treated like Roman Gladiators only to perish. Flynn takes on an incarnation of sorts becoming a "user" and a "program" almost resembling a kind of computer Christ. Very interesting notion. Neat parallel. The movie if full of Christian-type allegories and overall is very entertaining.
There is no sex, hurtful violence or garbage. Clean movie, I as an adult still love it, and it's in general a great flick. Give it a break folks!
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2001
For the record, ...this 20th Anniversary Tron 2-disc set DOES have plenty of extras, in fact, it sounds like a port of the Masterpiece Edition laser disc set with even more goodies. Here is what is known as of Oct 1, 2001:
* A new 75-minute documentary called, "The Making of Tron"
* Deleted scenes with all- new introductions by writer / director Steven Lisberger and visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw
* Production photo gallery with new photos from the Disney photo archives
* Audio commentary by director Steven Lisberger, producer Donald Kushner and visual effects supervisors Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor
* Storyboard to film comparisons
* Extensive still frame galleries
* Pre- production animation tests
* Original Wendy Carlos soundtrack music deleted from the film
* Inspirational designs by design artists Syd Mead, Peter Lloyd and Jean "Moebius" Giraud
* Computer animation design and demo reels
* Original publicity materials
* Original theatrical trailer
93 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 1999
--I'm a big fan of this wonderful film, and recomend that people buy it. At the same time I'm disappointed (once again) by the Disney presentation.
--On May 14th I saw TRON in 70mm at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood (the 'real' way it was meant to be seen). When I played this DVD on my system two things struck me.
--#1 The sound is near perfect! It retains a very good dynamic range, making dialog easy to understand, and special effects sound great. I would also like to point out that the sound is not 5.1, as the package is labled. (It's either 5.0 or 4.1)
--#2 The picture is quite a bit different than I remembered it. In the theater the effects looked like computer generated images (CGI), but on DVD they look animated, as if drawn by hand. I also noticed in the theater that scenes shot "in the real world" had a tint to them. (For example, Flynn's arcade is tinted red, Dillinger's office is tinted greenish, and Encom's "laser room" has sort of a blue tint.) This is the way it was intended but seems to have been lost on the DVD. It's also worth noting that this disk is letterboxed, not anamorphic widescreen. Over all, the picture quality is about average for a movie of its age on DVD.
--The real disappointment is the lack of extras. This is absolutely inexcusable! Disney could have easily carried them over from their rediculously priced laser disk CAV special edition. I must say, after having seen the deleted "love scene", they should have left it in the film! I miss it every time I see TRON.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2002
It seems the previous reviews were written about some other, earlier DVD edition of this film. The 20th Anniversary Edition is a great 2-Disc package with plenty of extras, including a 1 1/2 hour retro-documentary of the making of both the original film and this DVD edition. Also included are a collection of production drawings by Moebius, Storyboards & Animatics, Deleted Scenes, and some deleted music! (Please note that Disney & Wendy Carlos have FINALLY remastered the original soundtrack and added a few missing tracks for a new CD due to release January 29th. 2002!) Check out ... for the full story why this took so long!
This new edition is well worth the price and is certain to please die-hard TRON fans! In the Supplementary materials, Director Steven Lisberger even hints at the possibility of a sequel! TRON 2.0!
A word of warning to Sony Playstation2 Users! There is a MAJOR GLITCH that seems to only affect Playstation2...during Chapter 8, the scene where Flynn/CLU is introduced to RAM in the Game-Grid holding cells, the picture wigs-out into a mess of pixelated garbage and artifacts that can only be eliminated by resetting the machine! I returned my DVD to [retail store], only to discover the defect on the replacement disc, as well! The defect did not show up when I played the disc on a friend's dedicated DVD Player. (a small horizontal blip/glitch did appear, but caused no serious problems.)
Playstation Users - If you experience this Glitch, Please do not hurry to return "defective" discs to Amazon.com! You can get past this glitch by simply "fast-forwarding" a frame, or two, past the problem spot! In fact, if Playstation2 is your only means of playing DVDs, you may have no alternative!
There is also a small problem with the Sound Mix during SARK's Introductory Speech to the "Programs" being readied for the Game Grid....When SARK is not actually On-Screen, or is seen from the Grid Warriors' Point-Of-View, his dialogue volume drops noticably to the point where his speech is quite difficult to understand!
Hopefully, the manufacturer will remedy these problems in a subsequent pressing. But, Playstation2 & Sound Glitches aside, this a wonderful package that I highly recommend! I was lucky enough to find the disc on [retail store's] shelves a few days before the release date! ...but buy yours here, the price is the same!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2002
I think I speak for every Tron fan out there when I say that this 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition is long overdue but most welcome! The only way you could improve upon this brilliant piece of work is to release it in a director's cut with DTS, but this still gets 5 stars in my book. For everyone's information, this is a 2-DVD set. First one contains the movie, complete with THX Optimizer. Second one could be entitled "Everything you ever wanted to know about Tron but were afraid to ask." It not only contains the deleted scenes, but it also contains storyboards, photo galleries, and an extensive "Making Of Tron" documentary with interviews. I learned a ton (or should I say Tron) of stuff out of that documentary, among which is the fact that Cindy Morgan still looks magnificent after all this time!
This DVD is a vast improvement over its DVD predecessor, being THX-certified with beautiful widescreen picture and rich 5.1 sound! Wendy Carlos's music score has never sounded better; I look forward to getting the CD soundtrack when it is released (again long overdue.)
When this movie came out, it quickly became my all-time favorite and to this day, it has stayed there. Thank you, Disney, for creating this 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition, and thank you to everyone (cast and crew) who helped make it a reality!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2011
I never saw TRON when it was released in theaters. That summer E.T. was the big film to see so TRON went ignored. I would first see it on VHS. The video's blury 4:3 transfer didn't do the film justice. Years later I saw it on Laserdisc. The picture was much better, but still failed to reproduce the amount of detail the film had theatrically. Up until this weeks blu ray release, the best version of the film was the 20th Anniverary 2 Disc DVD. It was the first true 16:9 transfer of the film for home video. It was the closest I've been to seeing TRON projected and one of my favorite DVDs. But as beautiful as the DVD is, the blu ray puts it to shame. I played both discs side by side and the blu ray looks like a brand new film. Colors are brighter. Details are clearer. The biggest improvement is how clean it looks. The DVD has alot of noticable dirt in several scenes. The blu ray has none. Watching the remastered BD has finally given me the feeling of seeing the film in it's theatrical presentation
As far as the film itself, I've always loved it. Anyone reading this has probably seen TRON by now so I won't rehash the plot. All I will say about the film is that the story and look were ahead of it's time. Much of the plot and dialogue went over my head when I first saw it. But as technology has progressed and become much more common, TRON became more and more understandable. I'm still amazed that Disney took such a gamble on what was such a radical story. What's even more amazing is that TRON was snubbed by the Academy for "cheating" using computers for the visual effects. When you realize what the film makers went through to create the visual effects, you'll demand a Oscar for what they went through. Using computers to do visual effects in 1982 was like drawing a comic book blind folded and having to re-draw panel after panel til you got it right. It wasn't the streamlined process it is today.
For any fan of TRON it's a no-brainer that you purchase this blu ray. If you haven't upgraded to the format, this should be your first disc.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2011
I could not believe how good this movie looked on Blu Ray. Disney did an excellent job putting this movie to Blu Ray. I felt like a kid the first time in the movie theater when I went to see this movie. The picture quality is outstanding and also the sound. When the Master Control program is talking its nice and loud on a surround sound system. If your a fan of the original Tron and was wondering if to pick this up or not on blu ray just do yourself a favor and get it. I had watched Tron in theaters on VHS countless times and had the 20th aniversary edition on dvd and must say the picture quality far exceeds the standard dvd in picture and sound and is the closest your going to get to a theater experience of this movie. Just do yourself a favor and pick this one up while you can. A fan of this movie will not be disapointed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2000
Tron was severely under rated at the time of it's release. Most of the critics (with the exception of Roger Ebert whom I always look up to) and audience overlooked it's deeper concept. It's a shame because Tron is the 1982 version of The Matrix. If a person really looks into the movie, he/she may or may not find spiritual enlightenment. There are so many levels of interest in this movie that it should appeal to everybody. It was made by a different Disney - one with balls. Give it another watch, you'll be happy you did.
The DVD version is the choice to buy, but don't expect too much. For such a wonderful movie I was expecting A LOT more. But I'm still giving the movie 5 stars for being itself. The DVD receives about 3.
30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I have absolutely loved this film since I first saw it back in th 80's. I give it 5 stars. The DVD only gets 2 stars though. What is actually on the DVD (the movie basically) is great, but there is SO much more that SHOULD be there!
Back 1995 a LaserDisc version of Tron was released that contained full length commentaries, deleted scenes, publicity materials, and lots of behind-the-scenes stuff. Why isn't all of this material on THIS DVD??? There is no good technical reason; DVD's hold more than LaserDisks, and all the hard work of remastering and organizing the material was done when the LaserDisk was produced. At this point very little work is required to get this material into the DVD format.
Personally, I'm going to hold out until they put all the material from the LaserDisk version onto DVD.